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Threatened species display at Kyoto Botanical Gardens



January 30, 2015
Patrinia triloba. Photo Σ64

Patrinia triloba. Photo Σ64

Kyoto Botanical Gardens is soon to open a new greenhouse featuring some of Japan’s most rare and threatened species, a first in Japan.

Although KBG already has 300 endangered plants growing in the gardens, the greenhouse will showcase plants that are from cool, moist climates, which makes them difficult to grow in Kyoto’s high summer temperatures. Fog machines, fans and special infrared-blocking glass will create the right growing environment.

Species featured in the new collection are classified as ‘endangered’ on Japan’s Ministry of the Environment’s Red Data Book, including Asarum pellucidum, a rare ginger that grows only on Amami-Oshima island, Patrinia triloba var. takeuchiana, a honeysuckle from Mt Aobasan and Trycirtus macrantha, a pretty yellow toad lily found in the Kochi Prefecture.

While some close relatives of these plants are cultivated by gardeners, many rarer varieties are nearing extinction in their natural habitats. The greenhouse exhibition hopes to show garden visitors the diversity of Japan’s native plants and also their vulnerability to environmental change. Kyoto Botanical Gardens will also send horticulturists to other areas to collect other endangered species.

Visitors to the garden will be able to see the threatened species through a glass wall and also watch botanists and horticulturists in action.

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